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Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit
8 Integration of career and life Mireia Las Heras and Douglas T. (Tim) Hall Introduction In the battle of Lepanto, 1571, the European troops called on Holy Mary asking her ‘to stop the sun’ so there would be more daylight hours to complete the battle. Apparently she did, and the Europeans defeated the invading troops. Whether this story is true or not, in today’s work world people’s days only have 24 hours, although professional work and other personal undertakings seem to require much more than that. The complexity of roles and demands lead to difﬁculties in coping in both family and work domains. This chapter advocates the concept of integration as a key concept for understanding work–life issues. Human life is a complex system, and as such, over the last decades, researchers have begun to realize that the various domains of an individual’s life interact with each other and must be studied in an integrated manner and within a common framework (Carlson and Kacmar, 2000). Senge (1990) points out that although decomposition seems a reasonable way of dealing with complex problems, it has signiﬁcant limitations in a world of tight couplings and non-linear feedbacks. He claims that the deﬁning characteristic of a system is that it cannot be understood as a function of its isolated components; it must be viewed as a whole to be fully comprehended. Scott (2003) similarly argues that, ‘no complex system can be understood by an analysis that attempts to decompose the...
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